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Interview with the Author of Noah Can't Even!

Recently Waterstones had a panel called YA Summer Cringe Fest with authors of Super Awkward, It's Not Me It's You and Noah Can't Even. Myself and neverlandvicki were given the opportunity to interview these three lovely authors, so without further ado here is the first interview with the author of Noah Can't Even, Simon James Green.

Did you always want to write for a YA audience?

"Yeah, I did actually. I have always loved coming of ages stories,  writing about teenage characters and for teenage characters. I love it, always have. I find adult stuff a bit dull. Adults books have affairs with doctors and then someone's kid falls over, I really don't care."  
Simon then goes on to express his passion for "coming of age" stories and how he always chooses to read or watch them. 

"I just love that kind of life, everything is kind of fresh and happy for the first time. There's a kind of optimism [to coming of ages stories] that you don't really get in adult stuff."

What is your favourite coming of age story?

"There is a brilliant film called 'The Way Way Back'. It is a really sweet coming of age story about a 14-year-old boy who is really kind of geeky and he gets this job at a water park over the summer and he comes out of his shell and meets friends that are nice to him, for once. It is a really gentle story, not much happens in it in terms of plot."

"For me, it was really reminiscent of that whole time of life. it was really kind of sweet. 

"Book wise I am a big fan of the Adrian Mole series. I read those as a teenager and loved them."

Simon also mentioned that Riverdale has become one of his recent favourites on Netflix too. Of course, this meant we had to discuss our Riverdale theories for the next couples of minutes... We both agree that Jughead should have been Asexual in the TV and Green also thought that it would have been much better story wise than the current plot. 

What is the most cringeworthy thing that has ever happened to you?

"There's quite a few to pick from... I was in year 8, I just turned 13. I hate PE and sports day but for some reason had been given the high jump. Being quite young still, I didn't realise that that loose boxer shorts under your PE shorts when you do that kicking action, when you're a boy, certain parts of the anatomy may come free and reveal themselves to the year 10 girls who are doing the judging. Which is what happened to me. They screamed and laughed and then went off to tell their mates about it."

Wow... Yikes.. I really feel for you, Simon. 

If you are also drawn to awkward situations, like me and Simon, don't fret! As he went on to say that people who have these awkward situations constantly around them tend to write better stories and live better lives. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

"Make sure you are writing the thing you absolutely love because it's a long hard slog and if you don't totally love it, as a character or as an idea, then you'll never get through the whole process. You really need that passion."

"Definitely get feedback on your work. Whether that's a writing group or, if you can, get a professional editor to look at your manuscript. Yes, it does cost a bit of money but if you can afford it or save for it eventually, it is an investment worth making. I would say, that is the one thing that helped me the most."

How much do you relate to Noah?

"Totally. I never used to admit that but the truth is he is more or less exactly like I was at school or still am to a large extent. It is not really autobiographical in the exact plot but definitely in how Noah reacts to stuff, how he behaves, the sort of things he would say and to what he finds annoying is very me. I was very geeky at school and I was that kid that was picked on a bit but at the same time, I was quite proud of stuff. So in that sense, he is quite easy for me to write."

What is Sophie's sexuality? 

This is a question I have had in my head ever since I read the book as it is never really mentioned. She expresses her distaste to all the boys at school so my thoughts are that she is gay.

Simon told me that he actually sat back and thought about the sexualities for most of the characters in the book, except for Sophie. Although he did say that now I mention that I thought Sophie might be gay, he saw exactly what I meant.

"The thing with Sophie is she's very sophisticated so I can see why she doesn't fancy any of the boys in the year because they are moronic. But I quite like that idea actually. I think there could be a possibility"

What can you say about the Sequal for Noah Can't Even?

"It kicks off two months after the end of [Noah Can't Even] and we are in the next year. 
There are French exchange students that come to visit Little Fobbing and with them bring a whole lot of new problems, especially for Noah and Harry. [The French Exchange students] come in and upset the whole mix. 
Noah's dad is up to no good, of course, and does several bad things that Noah must remedy. 
A drag queen comes to visit Noah's mum, which Noah is appalled by and hates her. But they end up having an understanding and become more friendly towards the end. 
Plenty of more awkward moments and lots of mystery as well." 

"I've only just finished the first draft so some of these elements may change by the time it comes out."

 The sequel should be out by June next year and I cannot wait!

How involved are you in the TV show adaptation of Noah Can't Even?

Simon said he's quite involved and knows the production company well that have bought the story. He will be working closely with the TV pitch, translating it to the screen and expanding some of the stories. 

When I asked if it would be one season for one book, he couldn't tell me exactly as it depends on how many episodes it gets for the first season but obviously, he wants to include as much as he can from the book. 

Thank you to Simon James Green for letting us interview you and thank you to Waterstones for this opportunity!

Myself and NeverlandVicki are holding a giveaway of all the books from YA Cringe Fest!! See how you can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out my interviews with the other authors from this panel!

Interview with the Author of Super Awkward

Interview with the Author of It's Not Me It's You

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